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MoonlitWolf

Joined:

Sep 12

Posts: 3

MoonlitWolf says:

Roads safe for women?

Hi everyone :)

I've had a CBT for one and a half years, and I'm currently doing (failing) my mod 1 having done training with a riding school near me. I've just upgraded from my scooter to a 125cc geared bike at the recommendation of the school because I wasn't picking up the gears well through the training.

Having bought this new, beautiful bike which I've become very attached to (<3) I love her to bits and want to take her to uni with me. Its a 169 mile commute, which I know is a very very long distance for a 125cc!! I'm planning to take at least 2 days to do it, and make lots of stop offs to give engine rests. I'm planning that it will take up to 10 or more hours and I'm accepting that it'll take as long as it takes. I've taken her out for a 70 mile ride around the roads near my house and she coped ok. I've got breakdown insurance if I need it but she's pretty much a new bike and been well cared for in her 5 years. I've not had any problems with her so far. The commute is one I'm excited about. Or was :S

My problem isn't with the commute so much as an issue my instructor raised. He told me I should just van it up there because its not safe for a 19 year old female to be riding that distance alone. Is there any merit to this comment? Part of me is highly indignant at this comment But its knocked my confidence and upset me a little bit and given me a fear I didn't previously have. Do you think I should just have it vanned up :s?

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  • Posted 3 years ago (04 September 2012 22:57)

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MarcusMarsh

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 2714

MarcusMarsh says:

Safe roads

This is not really about the bike - it is about you as an individual.  (The bike will do it, no problem)  If you are confident in your own abilities then do it.  Of course take all the common sense precautions like planning your route, letting people know where you are (At 50 I still have to phone my mum each day when I am off touring LOL) and carrying a mobile phone etc.

If you are comfortable with it I am sure you will be OK.

 

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smoto5

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 4548

smoto5 says:

Realistically, I don't think you should have much cause for worry on

a fairly recent bike in good order, you have breakdown cover (make sure it is thorough cover that will get you and bike relayed to your destination if it can't be repaired) you could also ensure you travel in daylight hours on major routes. A 170 mile trip on a 125 in one day shouldn't be out of the question, even at a fairly low average speed, taking fuel, food and toilet breaks into consideration, a satnav or routeplanner computer programme or webpage such as RAC one should give you a good idea of both routes and times required. Also a fully charged mobile phone would be a good idea, both for contacting breakdown services/emergency services or friends and family, emphasise that you are a lone female to the call centre and you should be a priority.

I would think you will have a nice little trip without too much drama, but exciting enough to be an adventure :smile best wishes, have fun :biggrin: and don't forget to dress in suitably protective and weatherproof riding clothing :smile

edit, as Marcus says :biggrin:

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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johnrodgers

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 90

johnrodgers says:

No problem

I used to ride a GS125 between Kent and Bristol and along the S. coast and I'd guess that was 220miles. A good days ride, certainly not two. Accept that you will be cruisng at 50mph for a lot of the time, and try to take in as many A + B roads as possible and most of all enjoy it. Moving a working bike by van is sacrilege, don't let yopur instructor put you off. Long distance riding is the most fun you can have on a bike, probably the best way of improving your riding skills and  think of the sense of satisfaction once you've done it. Careful-you may get bitten by the touring bug and start riding further afield.I bet your instructor would have a shitfit if you started riding in Europe. Take a mobile and have breakdown insurance and dress for bad weather (textile waterproof gear is worn by despatch riders and long distance tourers for a reason).

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AdieR

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

Its not really

a bike issue (I'm assuming your bike is a 4 stroke, 2-strokes can be temperamental), but as MM states, about you.

It is a long trek for a 125 (bear in mind on a CBT you won't be able to use motorways), but more than that, and especially if you're a relative newbie, it's quite a time to keep up your concentration; on a bike, any "little" error is potentially life-changing, if not life threatening (unlike a car where a minor lapse in concentration may be little more than a bent wing).

Bear in mind that with winter coming up, a long trek on a bike (even a big bike) can be hard work anyway.

Do also bear in mind that long rides in your locality is one thing - doing it on unfamiliar territory can be something else.

My advice:

Do: check the weather forecast - I got caught out by snow going up to Scotland - in May! Some cold weather gear may be a good idea, as are heated grips if you haven't got them.

Carry spare fuel: running out is not fun. And fill up before you need to, so you don't panic about it. Also, carry some cash to pay for fuel; filling up and being told that the card payment system doesn't work is a headache you don't want.

Check your bike over mechanically: get any niggling faults sorted, fluid levels checked, tyres checked (pressures and damage), chain tension & lubrication, battery. Carry a few spares (bulbs & fuses, and perhaps spark plugs too), and some tools (even if its only the kit that came with the bike).

Keep a mobile: make sure its charged, and has enough credit on it. If possible, make sure you can get assistance from at least one person you know (family / friend / other half), particularly (without being sexist or degrading) as you're a lone female.

Plan your route, even if you're using sat-nav: sat-navs can get you "lost", or take you into some weird and / or undesirable areas. Try to do your run in daylight (that way, you can see the road surface better, and also less likely to come a cropper with suicidal rabbits or deer).

Make sure you've got sufficient space for everything your taking - leaving half your stuff at home because you can't get it on the bike will be at best inconvenient.

Get plenty rest the night before, and check you've organised everything: you don't want to forget something because your in a last-minute rush. Be aware of fatigue kicking in.

As obvious as it may sound, have you checked for secure parking for uni (both on campus, and your residence)?

Also, check Youtube for methods to pick up a dropped bike - it happens to the best of us occasionally;  can be bloody unfunny if it happens when your single handed, and your bike loaded up.

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Valko

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 129

Valko says:

yes UK is safe

and I do not see how from personal safety point of view bike can be more dangerous then say a car for the same trip, with the helmet and all the gear nobody knows are you 19 year old girl or 50 year old dude? Just plan your trip with all stopping places in advance, google street veiw can be very helpful, this is what I do when travel you get familiar with the place in advance.

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MoonlitWolf

Joined:

Sep 12

Posts: 3

MoonlitWolf says:

Thank you!

Hi everyone :)

Thank you so much for all your replies!!!

Its reassuring to hear that the bike will be ok with the distance and that other people have ridden similar (and longer!) distances on a 125 :) was worried I was going to upset the bike!

I've got a satnav and full protective clothing was purchased long before the bike was :). I'm planning to stick to daylight hours - night time riding still scares me!!!! And definitely taking lots of breaks :)

I am worried about fatigue setting in and forgetting checks here and there :S will try and sleep loads the night before! I am nervous about it but also really excited! And a little upset that the bike instructor said that but I think he was just trying to be nice in a way and make sure that I was ok. I need to dig out my insurance and check the break down policy but if its not already there I think with Swinton its quite easy to put on.

As for picking the bike up I learnt the hard way this evening that I can pick it up :S Its quite a light bike, only 114kg I think. This is one of reasons I don't like night! Our drive comes up very quick when its dark and you can't see very far ahead. I live on a farm and had forgotten about the gravel that had kicked into drive entrance from road. I slowed down and came into drive at a bad angle, the wheels picked up the gravel and the bike and I both came down :( I've not had chance to check fairings! My neighbour happened to be out and watched it happen and a car the other side of the road turned out to be an ambulance who checked I was ok before driving off (was lovely of him!) and then I picked pick up and wheeled it into drive, looked over it as best I could (was a bit upset and shaken so not throroughly) and got into house as quickly as possible before mum figured out the commotion outside had been me :S :S an experience I wish I hadn't have earnt but hopefully a useful one to have firmly in past! I'm so upset about hurting bike!!!! I'll take her to go see my dad though who's had bikes for ages and we'll check her over and check things like the tyres and reserve fuel tank and what not for going up to uni anyway :) still very shaken up from that awful experience though. Bike kinda fell half on road and its dark. Thankfully only one car came down but it could have been a lot nastier than it was. I'm very lucky :upset:

I'll be living off of campus, and know a friend on campus with a motorbike who parks it on campus in one of the many motorbike park areas and he seems happy with it, and he dotes on his bike :). I bought a heavy chain lock for it and if that doesn't feel safe enough I can store bike in our garden shed :) sorry for massive post!!!

Thank you everyone for replying!!! It is really useful to have read everything everyone has said!! :smile:smile:smile

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smoto5

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 4548

smoto5 says:

Glad we could all help a bit

and give you a bit more confidence :smile and don't worry too much about dropping her, we've all done that at some time :upset: it happens, just have to pick yourself up, and dust yourself down and carry on, with experience you learn ways to avoid it...mostly  :laugh:  good luck, best wishes, hope everything goes well :smile:biggrin: 

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AdieR

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

Don't worry

about dropping it - I dropped mine the other night coming out of work; that were embarrassing to say the least.....

To be fair, it survived ok except for a snapped clutch lever - thank fekk!

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Cyclonite

Joined:

Oct 10

Posts: 306

Cyclonite says:

...

I've been raped several times on long trips on a motorbike.


I'm sure it's all the leather.

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Cyclonite

Joined:

Oct 10

Posts: 306

Cyclonite says:

Swinton

Are really good insurers, their after-care team are amazing.


The woman dealing with my case got promoted for her work on my case.

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